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Stop shaming people for their passions

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Daisy Ridley as Rey in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” (Photo courtesy of IMDb)

Last weekend, nerds like myself rejoiced around the world.

On Friday, thousands of Jedi, Sith Lords and Stormtroopers descended upon Chicago for Star Wars Celebration, where fans were blessed with the title reveal and first trailer for the upcoming film, “Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Then, on Sunday, 17.4 million people gathered around their televisions, laptops, phones or whatever screen they could get their hands on to tune in to the premiere of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones.”

On top of all this, we’re just over a week away from the release of “Avengers: Endgame,” which has serious potential to become the highest grossing film of all time.

The result? Millions and millions of tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram stories taking over every social media platform.

But in all of the excitement, some people decided fans shouldn’t be allowed to share their passions with the world. Instead, they should be shamed for celebrating new additions to the things that bring happiness to them and so many others.

https://twitter.com/stclairashley/status/1117495087049482245

I hate to break it to you, but hating popular things isn’t a personality trait.

If you don’t like something, that is totally, 100 percent fine. I’m sure there are things in the world that you’re passionate about, too. But just because you don’t understand the love for whatever the current trend is, doesn’t mean you need to go out of your way to put someone down just to try and get likes or reposts on social media.

Someone else’s excitement should not have any effect on your life whatsoever. Last time I checked, these fans aren’t aggressively tagging people who they know dislike a certain fandom in an attempt to shove their passion down their throat.

One of my friends and fellow self-proclaimed geeks put it perfectly: “It shows our ability to love something unabashedly in a culture full of hate, cynicism and sarcasm.” If you can find a reason to get upset by someone else’s pure, unadulterated love for something, you’re the one with the problem.

Certain works of fiction have changed my life profoundly. The Harry Potter series has impacted me the most, and I’m not ashamed in the slightest to say that I still get emotional reading those books for the umpteenth time.

I grew up watching, reading and acting out every story from the Star Wars universe, and yes, the series’ return and subsequent films do give me chills. Can you imagine if your favorite childhood story, one that you thought was over forever, was suddenly brought back? You’d be pretty excited too.

“Game of Thrones” is the greatest television show of our generation, and quite possibly of all time, so excuse me for fully investing in appreciating every moment of it. When something of this magnitude occurs, I want to be right in the middle of all the excitement. Don’t worry, it’ll all be over for good in five weeks.

So next time you think about criticizing someone for being proud enough to share their passion with the world, don’t.

If you think it’s so ridiculous for a person to be emotionally moved by something they’ve invested in for decades, I feel sorry for you. I hope one day you’re able to find something in this world capable of having that same effect on you.

And if the social media posts really bother you that much, it’s pretty easy to mute whatever you don’t want to hear about. Problem solved.

Zach Goins View All

Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Charlotte, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.

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